Faith, Trust and Belief

November 3, 2016

 “Our culture has reduced Christian believing to a set of rational propositions. The various doctrines can be described, defined, repeated, even rendered in Latin. But almost nowhere do we bother to think about how we believe those propositions. We can answer the question, “Do you believe in the Incarnation?” But we never bother to ask, “What does it look like to believe the Incarnation?” This disconnect leads to tragic, even paralyzing versions of Christianity.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Faith is less concerned with belief, doctrine, and dogmatic teaching than it is with trusting in Christ…Real faith is faith which is manifest and active.” (OCPM 2/9/2016, St. Maximos the Confessor)


“Trusting God trumps understanding God. The train will have long left the station and left us on the platform if we determine to ride only with full understanding. Life will have passed us by. I’m choosing to trust the conductor and the track He’s laid down for me.” (Terry Esau)

“Knowledge is given to us by faith, that is to say, by our participatory adherence to the presence of Him Who reveals Himself. Faith is therefore not a psychological attitude, a mere fidelity. It is an ontological relationship between man and God, an internally objective relationship…” (Vladimir Lossky)


“Faith is a perception and communion, which means that there is actually something (someone) to be perceived and with which to have communion. Faith is not an action reserved to some portion of our mind – it does not take place within us. It is a perception that is true communion.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“The act of faith is unlike any other in human experience. It is unlike, but in a way connected to, the act of sensing by which we perceive the world around us. It is a “seeing” of that which is invisible, yet faith still begins in the senses, by hearing the testimony of another who has heard God’s word.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)


“Our faith is indeed personal, but it is not private. And there is nothing more personal than when persons are in communion with one another…Our Christian faith cannot be lived in a vacuum, for our personal transformation requires working out our salvation within community.” (Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, Abbott Tryphon)


“Without faith, without deep faith, we sell out to self-serving truths and cultural lies. We need to hear the Gospel fully. We need to move beyond group lies or ideology disguised as religion.” (Father John Zeyack)


“However, we must take care that we do not confuse the fullness of faith with acquiring information “about” the faith. Rather, we are to work at living “in the way of the Lord” (Acts 18: 25), for as Christ reminds us, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). (Dynamis



 “Sometimes it is hard to really know how deep our faith is, how deeply we trust God or not, until we face trials. We may not want trials but they are usually actually good for us....trials reveal where our hearts are. They are food for faith, which must grow or die.” (Sacramental Living Blog, Orthodox Study Bible James 1:2)


“Within every human is a desire for God. We sometimes attempt to satisfy this hunger by practicing a religion, by having faith in something. Atheism, in all its railings against God, also has intrinsic beliefs, dogmas, and tenets that supposedly can’t be challenged. It is itself a belief system with all the markings of a religion. Atheism as a religion (a set of beliefs) is just as intolerant and closed-minded as the claims made against any faith system it assails…Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning.” (Rice Broocks, C.S. Lewis)


 “Even skeptics have faith. They have faith that skepticism is true. Likewise, agnostics have faith that agnosticism is true. There are no neutral positions when it comes to beliefs." (Norman Geisler, Frank Turek, and David Limbaugh)


“We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief [in God] nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?” (C.S. Lewis)


 “True belief is not a mere nod of approval to a set of ideas, but conviction acted upon, which shapes our lives and informs our choices…Doubts, as well as beliefs, are born from our thoughts, while faith and knowing are conceived in our hearts.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou, Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)


"The Christian faith is not just a set of beliefs, but a whole new way of seeing things, enabling us to see things as they really are." (RZIM Canada@rzimcanad)


“Reason alone will never bring us to God. Rather, we confess that we are finite; He is infinite. Thus we come to him by faith.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 55:8-9)    


“Human rationality alone will never penetrate the workings of God.” (Dynamis 1/14/10)    


“God wants our trust and faith, even while we ponder and wonder about so many maters mysterious to us…Faith is reasonable, though reason alone cannot explain the whole of it. So use your mind to think things through. But leave room for the unexplainable works of God.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 21:18,19)    


“Clearly to go to Church and worship without knowing anything about what the Church stands for and believes is a nearly fruitless exercise…But study without worship is perhaps more insidiously dangerous because you can deceive yourself that you are “all about God” when in fact you are really all about “the study of God.” (Sacramental Living)    


“To truly know about God you have to live the Christian faith. Christianity is something to be experienced more than something to be learned. I can’t emphasize this enough. I don’t think anyone can truly understand Christianity unless they experience it because it goes beyond the limits of our intellect… This made the most sense to me after my daughter was born and I began to raise her. Before I had her, I thought I knew what it would be like to love a child, care for a child, and meet the demands of a child. And I did intellectually understand this at some level. But it was not until I actually had her and experienced her did I begin to truly understand what it was like to love and care for a child, and to express the depth of that love in words is almost impossible.” (Sacramental Living)    


“Our doubts and worries rob us of so much. They make the small shadows on the wall into huge phantasms about to swallow us whole. But the truth is that much of what we fear are either illusions or are realities that are not as terrible as we imagine…Too often we live not in the present but in the past or a feared future. If our eyes were truly open, we would see that our world is not as dark as we think it.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)    


“God always gives us strength to do what He has commanded. This strength may not be evident until we step out in faith and actually begin doing the task.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Timothy 4:17)    


“What proceeds out of the mouth flows from the heart, for sooner or later our tongue will reveal the quality of our faith in God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 1:26, 27)    


“…true faith always results in a changed life and good deeds…True faith involves a commitment of your whole self to God.” (Life Application Study Bible, James 2:18)